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Economy in Brief

U.S. Home Builders Index Remains At Highest Level Since 2005
by Tom Moeller  September 17, 2013

The Composite Housing Market Index from the National Association of Home Builders-Wells Fargo held at 58 this month after a 2 point advance in August. The latest level remained the highest since November 2005 but disappointed expectations for a rise to 59. The index of single-family home sales held at 62, the highest since December 2005. The index of sales during the next six months slipped to 65 and gave up some the gains during the last two months. Realtors saw the traffic index of prospective buyers strengthen to another high compared to late 2005.

Activity strengthened m/m across the country in September. The index for the Northeast showed the largest gain with a 6 point rise to 45. The figure for the West followed with a 3 point rise to 62. The Midwest index rose to 66 from 64 and the figure for the South gained to 58 from 56. The NAHB figures are seasonally adjusted.

The NAHB has compiled the Housing Market Index since 1985. It reflects survey questions asking builders to rate market conditions as "good," "fair," "poor" or "very high" to "very low." The figure is thus a diffusion index with numerical results over 50 indicating a predominance of "good" readings. The weights assigned to the individual index components are .5920 for single family detached sales, present-time, .1358 for single family detached sales, next six months; and .2722 for traffic of prospective buyers. The results are included in Haver's SURVEYS database. The expectation figure is available in Haver's MMSAMER database.

National Association of Home Builders Sep Aug Jul Sep'12 2012 2011 2010
Composite Housing Market Index, SA (All Good=100) 58 58 56 40 34 16 16
 Single-Family Sales 62 62 59 42 36 16 16
 Single-Family Sales: Next Six Months 65 68 67 51 41 22 23
 Traffic of Prospective Buyers 47 46 45 30 27 13 12
Northeast 45 39 40 31 29 17 20
Midwest 66 64 62 45 36 14 14
South 58 56 54 39 34 18 17
West 62 59 61 44 38 15 13
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